Product Type: ELC Toy Car
Newest Review: ... are some cable ties underneath that attaches onto the wheels and you simply cut these away with scissors and the ambulance is free from th... more
ELC Mini Ambulance
Member Name: xxBeccaxx
ELC Mini Ambulance
Advantages: Long lasting, durable, bright, noisy, appeals to many ages, good size, lights up.
Disadvantages: Too noisy, all buttons make same noise.
I bought this for my son a couple of years ago now and yet he still plays with it and you know how those things you use run out of batteries uber quickly and the noisy annoying things go on forever, well this is still nee-nawing at this moment on the first set of batteries argh!
Anyway I purchased this from Mothercare which had a section on Early Learning Centre inside. There were a lot of little toys around but my son spotted this ambulance and so started a love story (not from me!). At the time these were around the £5 mark (I honestly can't remember exactly how much) or there was an offer of 2 for £8. However the ELC website doesn't seem to be showing it any longer so I'm not sure if it's still available to be bought or if it is no longer manufactured. The ambulance came in a box that was half cut out so the children can play and experience the toy before it's bought which is nice but it does mean that sometimes the toys you buy can have near to no batteries left which with a brand new toy is not fun for a child so it's a bit or a pro and a con. The packaging is easy to remove, there are some cable ties underneath that attaches onto the wheels and you simply cut these away with scissors and the ambulance is free from the cardboard confines. I much prefer the cable tie method than the teeny tiny screw that is so far down the plastic tube that my screwdriver doesn't fit. Anyway all this packaging is recyclable which is good I think.
The toy itself is bigger than a small toy but smaller than a larger one. My son was around the 18 month mark when I purchased it and it was big enough for his little hands to hold and move around easily and even now he is 3 and a half and his bigger hands easily wheel this around so it is suitable for many ages despite the 3+ age mark, I personally think a lot of these marks are to cover the company as there are no movable parts apart from the spinning wheels and there is neither any removable parts so there is nothing a child can be harmed on. The ambulance is rather lightweight with a weightier middle, it does feel cheap and plastic but for the price you can't really complain and for a toy of such a price 2 years is a good amount of time to last. The colours are bright and inviting for a child and they don't fade, this hasn't been in water or anything so I can't confirm if it would last but for general day to day use they last very well and they are still as bright today as the day I bought it. The corners are slightly pointed but they are rounded and pose no sharpness that would scratch or cause any damage to a child. There are 3 small, square buttons on the side that provide the pretty realistic ambulance noises, these are smaller than large buttons so smaller children may find it difficult to press although my son seemed to manage without trouble, the buttons are all bright red but my complaint is not only do all the buttons give off the same sound but it is exceptionally loud. We all know children's toys are noisy but this one is almost double the volume (to my ears!) than other noisy toys. There is also no volume button, most noisy toys I've found to have a switch that has 2 settings moderate or very loud which goes some way to controlling the volume but this is devoid of such luxury which annoys me. The good (or unfortunate depending on how you look at it) thing is that the batteries last an age, as I say I have not changed them at all since first use 2 years ago. This is not a toy my son plays with daily but it is used fairly often and for that I would have assumed they would have ran out by now but nope, they're still going strong.
The light also still retains it's juice and promptly lights up bright blue when the buttons are pushed, this flashes on and off exactly the same as a real ambulance does. There are smaller red and orange lights along the side which also light up which is another novelty for a child.
Overall I think this is a great toy, it makes a nice gift (for children, not so much their parents), it's long lasting and durable with no cracks, broken parts, dead batteries, faded colours which is excellent. It is pretty cheap and provides hours of fun. My son at first was happy to just wheel this around the floor however as he's grown he now has a collection of emergency vehicles which he uses for various stories and scenarios. I do sometimes think it would be nice to have hinged doors to open to allow figures inside but it's not essential. There are a couple of flaws the volume and that the 3 buttons make the same noise so really what's the point. The lights work well and the size is suitable for many ages of children. I'd definitely recommend this toy.
Summary: Another excellent toy from ELC.
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